So it’s been 14 days. 14 days since you or somebody you know made a New Year’s resolution.
How’s that going?
Research shows that it’s likely not going very well. One particular study suggests that only 71% of people have kept their resolutions to this point. That means 29% of resolution-makers have already messed up in just 2 short weeks.
What’s worse is that the same study found that out of the 71% that make it two weeks, only 8% of those people end up achieving their resolutions.
So basically, there is a 92% likelihood that you are going to fail your New Year’s resolution if you haven’t already.
Well, don’t be.
Refuse to be.
Forget about that New Year’s resolution. That was so 2 weeks ago.
Instead, think of today as your January 14th Resolution.
Today, you can start over.
Today, you can commit to the change you intended for January 1st.
Today, failure doesn’t have to have the final say in your year.
Resetting your life for the New Year is nice. It even makes sense. It feels right. But for some reason, we have bought into the idea that once we fail at our resolution it’s over for that year. We become paralyzed in the state we started in and stop pursuing the change we desired. Maybe your resolution was to exercise 5 days per week. It’s been two weeks, and you haven’t exercised once. You have 2 options: 1) the “maybe next year I’ll exercise and lose weight…didn’t do it this year…already failed my resolution…oh well” perspective, or 2) the “I’ve messed up so far, but today I can start over” perspective.
It’s the difference between perfection and persistence.
Perfection focuses on never messing up. When it happens, the resolution is abandoned.
Persistence focuses on continuing even though messing up is inevitable.
Nobody expects perfection out of you. It’s impossible. Even the 8% that “achieve” their resolutions do so imperfectly.
What matters is being persistent in pursuing the resolution you’ve made. And when you do, you will eventually see the results. Maybe not right away. Maybe it will take longer than you’d liked. But it will happen. You may have to start again a few more times down the road after failing along the way. That’s okay. But don’t quit just because it didn’t go well since the New Year.
So what resolution do you have for yourself? What change would you like to see in your life right now?
Is it exercising? Losing weight? Reading books? Better grades in school? Spending more time with your family? Something related to your finances?
I don’t know about you, but I always try and make some sort of resolution regarding my relationship with God. For me that relationship is the foundation for my life and influences everything I’m a part of. Thankfully, God is NOT a God of second chances. He is a God of grace – the God of unlimited chances. No matter how many times I fail, He meets me where I am and lets me start over. He is the same towards you. He unconditionally loves you and desires a relationship with you. This year give it a try. Pursue a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. You won’t regret it.
If you want to increase your chances of success at your resolutions, there are some practical things you can do.
-Write them down.
-Ask someone to hold you accountable to them.
-Have a plan of action steps.
-Make sure they are S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.
But if it’s a resolution that takes any amount of effort (and the most meaningful ones do) you won’t be perfect. You will mess up somehow. And when you do, you can quit, or start over.
It’s okay if you’ve already failed.
You’re not alone.
Don’t wait until next year to restart.
Begin your resolution today.
Make a January 14th resolution!
Dan Diamond, “Just 8% of People Achieve Their New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s How They Do It,” Forbes, January 1, 2013. Read here.